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Handful of Stardust by Yvonne Whittal

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Take your feminism out and put it into a box. Firmly shut the lid, and put it on a high shelf. Keep it there until you’ve finished reading this novel, or you won’t get through it.

Although really, that’s probably not the biggest problem with this book. It’s not even:

  • the pathetic heroine mooning after a man who doesn’t attempt to contact her for months and whose kisses she finds repulsive
  • the arrogant creepy arse of a hero twice her age, who values her only for her beauty, and kidnaps her and treats her like a mentally-impaired child
  • the endless Apartheid cringe:

It was touching to see the happiness of these Coloured people as they danced and sang for their ‘Master Brett’ and his wife on their wedding day. It was a gesture that brought Samantha close to tears.


It’s the fact that Brett never tells Samantha the one, absolutely obvious bloody thing that we’ve all guessed from page 19:

“His only sister died tragically a number of years ago. Rumour had it that she committed suicide, but no one seemed to know what actually happened, and Carrington has always been reluctant to discuss the subject.”

…until page 183. He could have saved them all a hell of a lot of bother if he had done so. Instead, to prove that her ex is a heel, Brett gets a couple of ambiguous photos of Clive drinking in a bar with another woman.

Why not just bloody tell her that Clive dated your sister for her money, dumped her when she got pregnant and he found out he wouldn’t get her money, causing her to commit suicide?

I suppose because we wouldn’t have had a plot or a book.

Anyway, in terms of being a glorious, outdated, melodramatic train wreck, this one is five stars out of five. Just make sure your brain and reason are firmly  tucked away in that box when you go for the ride.